The gutters on your home or commercial property aren’t designed to hold Christmas lights. They are intended to prevent roof damage, basement flooding and soil erosion.
But here is the neat thing about gutters: even though they aren’t designed to hold Christmas lights, they still do an excellent job of it! If you want to make your home or business the most festive on your block, all you have to do is invest in some inexpensive gutter clips.
What Are Gutter Clips?
A gutter clip is a little plastic device that does two things: clasp to the rim of a gutter, and hold the base of a Christmas light. Alternatively, some styles of gutter clips hold the insulated wire of a string of lights so the bulbs hang on either side of it. There are also gutter clips which can hold either the base of a light or the adjacent wire – your choice.
There are Christmas light clips available which anchor in beneath shingles. Others have magnetized bases that can stick to any flat metal surface, gutter or otherwise. You may also pay a professional service to install permanent light clips to any flat surface on your home – an excellent investment for the truly festive property owners among us.
How to Hang Christmas Lights Using Gutter Clips
Hanging lights from gutters is so easy that anyone can do it! If you decide to take the DIY approach instead of hiring a professional service, here’s all you have to do.
- Determine how many strands of lights you’ll need. This initial step is crucial to making sure your mission to turn your house into one giant Christmas decoration is a successful one. Assuming you only intend to hang lights where passersby can see them, measure the entire length of the gutters spanning the front of your home. Add that figure to the circumferences of any windows or exterior doors you intend to surround with lights as well. Add 10% to your final measurement to give yourself some margin for error, and you will have the grand total footage you need to complete your project.
- Purchase gutter clips. In warmer climates, you can get away with purchasing enough gutter clips so they are spaced about 3 feet apart. But if you live in a colder climate – such as Minnesota – then you should purchase enough gutter clips so you can space them 2 feet apart. Doing so will safely accommodate the added weight of ice and snow. Gutter clips aren’t expensive, so buying more than you need won’t hurt.
- Mount gutter clips. Here comes the fun part: climb that ladder and start clipping gutter clips to the rims of your gutters. Make certain to exercise extreme caution while using a ladder! It is never a bad time to read the American Ladder Institute’s guide to basic ladder safety (you can even read it to your kids before bedtime if you’re tired of Dr. Seuss.) If you aren’t keen on ladders, then you may choose to install ladderless gutter clips like the ones sold here.
- Mount light strands. Now that your gutter clips are in position, it’s time to get those lights up there. Begin with the corner of the roof and make your way along the gutter, clipping the strand’s lights or cord into place as you go. Make sure to keep the strand nice and tight (saggy lights aren’t festive). Once all the light strands are all in place, plug one end into an outdoor extension cord, and then plug the extension cord into a GFCI outdoor electrical outlet. Take care to position the extension cord so it doesn’t create a tripping hazard.
Can You Use Gutter Clips if You Have Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards can make hanging Christmas lights from your gutters more complicated – but they do not make it impossible. You can mount adhesive light clips to the front of your gutters. You can choose gutter clips with long, thin bases which are compatible with the mesh or perforated surface of your gutter guard. Alternatively, you may use shingle clips which slide underneath the tabs of the gutters lining the edge of your roofline.
Many people notice that their gutters are in poor condition while they’re hanging Christmas lights from them. If you see rust, sagging, loose fasteners, or other signs, then we welcome you to contact Curry’s Custom Cut Gutter today! We service all the residential and commercial gutter system needs of the greater Rochester, MN area!